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Crowd-control cops told to get physical, mental check-ups

PROVINCIAL POLICE Region 4 yesterday urged all police assigned to control crowds in Bangkok to get physical and mental health check-ups after a sergeant committed suicide reportedly over stress from work as well as from clinical depression.

Pol Sergeant Suphot Jaken, 33, of Nam Som Police Station in Udon Thani, shot himself dead at his parents' home in Khon Kaen on Tuesday.

Suphot's mother Prapai, 57, said her youngest son was cheerful and easygoing.

He had served with riot police in Bangkok several times. He seemed unusually down, had lost his appetite and was very quiet during his visit to her home on Monday, which suggested work-related stress might have been the cause, she said.

Provincial Police Region 4 spokesman Colonel Supakorn Khamsingnok said Suphot, who was due to join crowd control operations in Bangkok on Sunday, had been treated at Khon Kaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital until he fully recovered and started working as a policeman at Nam Som Police Station in 2010.

Suphot's wife noticed that he was despondent during the weekends so the couple went to Khon Kaen where his mother took him to a clinic and so he asked for further leave, Supakorn said.

"It remains unclear if the suicide was due to stress from joining crowd control operations in Bangkok," he said.

This tragedy prompted the office to urge all police to have health checks and engage in relaxing activities during their free time, he added.




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